Spy exhibit mixes real and fictitious
SIMI VALLEY, CALIF. — For the first time, the public is getting a large-scale view of the CIA's and KGB's real-life James Bond gadgets, from a replica of the Russians' deadly poison-dart umbrella to some of the Americans' most ingeniously concealed cameras.
The exhibition, which runs through July 14 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, includes dozens of items borrowed from the CIA's collection in Langley, Va., many of them never before shown publicly.
The exhibit also includes items from private collector Keith Melton and features some fictitious materials, as well.
There's the shoe-phone Don Adams, as secret agent Maxwell Smart, wore in the 1960s television comedy series "Get Smart," the Dr. Evil ring Mike Myers wore in the film "Austin Powers International Man of Mystery," and a pair of Diana Rigg's leather pants from the hit British TV spy series "The Avengers."
The real spy equipment dates as far back as the Revolutionary War. Among the cameras on display is one from 1885 that could be concealed on a person's body. The world's first microdot, a document shrunken down to a tiny point, is also on display. It dates back to 1852.